07 Dec 2021

Catholic Institute duo inspire Ireland women's hockey side to World Cup qualification

Catholic Institute duo inspire Ireland women's hockey side to World Cup qualification

The Ireland women's hockey side has qualified for the 2022 World Cup

THE Ireland women's hockey team, including two players from the Catholic Institute club in Limerick, have qualified for next summer's World Cup.

The Ireland women edged past Wales 2-1 in their winner-take-all clash in Pisa on Sunday to secure their place in the finals.

Limerick woman Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll, from Cratloe, are key members of the Ireland side which will be looked to repeat the excellent performance at the 2018 World Cup in London when claiming a silver medal.

Anna O'Flanagan scored both goals for Sean Dancer's side on Sunday in what was their final opportunity to qualify for the tournament.

It will be a three-in-a-row of major finals for the Ireland women's hockye team following that 2018 World Cup and this summer’s Olympic Games.

 Next summer's Women's World Cup is set to take place between Spain and the Netherlands in July.

Twenty seven-year-old Upton won the first of her Ireland caps against Scotland in November 2016. The talented Limerick woman was a key member of the Ireland team which won a silver medal at the 2018 Hockey World Cup in London.

A former student of An Mhodh Scoil and Crescent College Comprehensive, Upton also played ladies Gaelic football with Mungret-St Paul's and soccer with Janesboro.

Upton, a qualified teacher, helped her US college side, the UConn Huskies to two NCAA titles – in 2013 and 2014.

Twenty nine-year-old Carroll won the first of her caps against Wales in 2012. 

On the representative front, she has the quirk of playing for both Clare and Limerick. As Cratloe had no girls teams, she played camogie for Na Piarsaigh and earned a call-up to the Limerick county side as a result, playing alongside Roisin Upton at times.

She also won the 2013 Munster Ladies Senior Club Football Championship with Clare and played in the 2010 All-Ireland minor camogie final.

Hockey came later in her sporting life, taking up the game at the age of 14.

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